Part I. Antitrust Private Enforcement: National Perspectives on the Damages Directive
Part I antItrust PrIvate enforcement: natIonal PersPectIves on the Damages DIrectIve 13 Competition law: achievements and challenges António Ferreira Gomes1 I would first like to thank Católica Porto Law School for the kind invitation to participate in the opening session of this Conference and to congratulate its organizers for the excellent program. This Conference is a testament to the growing awareness regarding the importance of competition among the legal community. Competition generates benefits for everyone – consumers, businesses, government and the overall economy – and should be seen as an engine of economic growth. Competition is vital to ensure a dynamic, competitive and robust economy by promoting and rewarding merit. When competition is eliminated or restricted, companies lose incen- tives to innovate and to reduce costs, becoming less efficient. This is harmful to consumers, but also to the companies themselves, as they be- come less prepared to face new challenges. In a context of crisis, when citizens and taxpayers are already in a vulnerable situation, a prohibited practice, such as a cartel, is particu- larly detrimental to consumers, as it forces them to pay higher prices for products or services. The same applies to companies which need inputs from other companies themselves, and to the State as a buyer of goods and services. It is therefore important to be aware of the benefits of competition, but also of the detrimental effects of violations to competition law. The Portuguese Competition Authority is committed to combine both dimen- sions, acting as a...
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